Processing of hepatocyte growth factor to the heterodimeric form is required for biological activity

FEBS Lett. 1992 Oct 12;311(1):17-21. doi: 10.1016/0014-5793(92)81356-q.


Hepatocyte growth factor is a plasminogen-like molecule with diverse biological effects. Although it is synthesized as a single chain polypeptide, it was originally purified as a disulfide-linked heterodimer which was generated by an internal proteolytic event. Subsequent work indicated that preparations consisting largely of the monomeric form also exhibited potent activity. By using a combination of protease inhibition and site-directed mutagenesis, we established that conversion of the single chain polypeptide to the heterodimer occurred during the bioassay and was required for mitogenic and motogenic activity.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Aprotinin / pharmacology
  • Base Sequence
  • Biological Assay
  • Cell Division / drug effects*
  • Hepatocyte Growth Factor / genetics
  • Hepatocyte Growth Factor / metabolism*
  • Hepatocyte Growth Factor / pharmacology*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Mutagenesis, Site-Directed
  • Protein Conformation
  • Protein Processing, Post-Translational* / drug effects
  • Recombinant Proteins / biosynthesis


  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Hepatocyte Growth Factor
  • Aprotinin